April 2019 Message for Congregations and Lay and Rostered Leaders
Dear Beloved of God –
Following the meeting of our National Church Council, March 8-10, 2019, the Western Synod’s Examining Committee will also meet in Winnipeg. This meeting is one of the highlights of my year as your synod bishop.
The committee, comprised of one member from each of the four Western Synods, a faculty member from Lutheran Theological Seminary and the candidate’s bishop, will meet this year with five candidates two of whom are from the Synod of Alberta and the Territories.
In the Lutheran tradition, a person’s call from God to public ministry is understood as both internal and external or mediated:
- through an internal, personal sense of call that God is leading a person to public Christian ministry.
- through public affirmation that the person has the character, commitment, preparation and ability to serve in a specific public ministry, either ordained or diaconal.
- through the receipt and acceptance of a letter of call to serve in a particular ministry setting.
The responsibility for approval of candidates for rostered ministry in the ELCIC rests with the synods.
The final evaluation of candidates for rostered ministry is in two parts: the written examination (members of the committee are provided with the candidate’s responses to a written examination, as well as all other pertinent material from the candidate’s dossier) and the examination interview.
The final evaluation is to review and inquire in depth into the candidate’s readiness for rostered ministry, and to determine that the candidate meets the requirements for ministry established by the National Church.
The areas of readiness reviewed during the interview are: theological and academic competence, spirituality and faith commitment, personal integrity and leadership abilities, and, call to ministry and ministry gifts.
By the time you read this April Message the Western Synod’s Examining Committee will have met and I am hopeful that I will be in conversation regarding Calls to parish ministry and Services of Ordination.
Thank you for your continuing prayers for all candidates for rostered ministry across the ELCIC and for those prayerfully considering candidacy, for members of our ELCIC’s Program Committee for Leadership for Ministry, for our seminaries, and for candidacy committees.
In Christ Jesus – Shalom,
+Bishop Larry Kochendorfer
“The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)